McGraw’s Maxims

4 Dec

While the New York Giants were training in Marlin Springs, Texas before the 1912 season, John McGraw wrote (his name appeared on the byline) an article published in newspapers across the country about what it took “to become a big league ballplayer.”

John McGraw, 1912

John McGraw, 1912

McGraw wrote:

“If you have speed in your legs, in your arms, if you are physically strong, know human nature, don’t use tobacco, you’ll make a ballplayer.”

Included in the article were “McGraw’s Maxims:”

Forget what you know and learn over

Don’t drink

Eat two meals a day

Don’t drink water on the field

The less training in winter the better

Indoor training doesn’t help

A steady player is better than a grandstand player

A country boy is better material than a college boy, because he doesn’t think he knows it all.

Reminiscent, if less colorful, than Satchel Paige’s “How to Keep Young,” written forty years later, (this has been reprinted everywhere for years, but any excuse to mention Satchel Paige…)

Satchel Paige, 1942

Satchel Paige, 1942

Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.

If you stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.

Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.

Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain’t restful.

Avoid running at all times.

Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.

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21 Responses to “McGraw’s Maxims”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] immediately there was trouble for manager John McGraw after the New York Giants acquired Larry McLean from the Saint Louis Cardinals, August 6, 1913—it […]

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    […] 1891 when he played for the Cedar Rapids Canaries in the Illinois-Iowa League where he played with John McGraw, who became one of his closest […]

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    […] didn’t sign a contract that spring, and two other rumors; that John McGraw had sent him a letter inviting him to spring training with the Giants and that he would return to […]

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    […] didn’t sign a contract that spring; and two other rumors that John McGraw had sent him a letter inviting him to spring training with the Giants and that he would return to […]

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    […] of other leading managers and ball players in both leagues–Patrick J. Moran, Walter Johnson, John J. McGraw, Edward G. Barrow, James Burke, Miller Huggins, W.R. Johnston, Wilbert Robinson, Walter J. […]

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    […] Man on Earth” is generally credited as the first full-time third base coach.  Even before John McGraw hired him to coach third for the New York Giants in 1909, Latham’s antics as a “coacher” were […]

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    […] said John McGraw who “For nine years…had a batting average of .330” (actually .346 from 1893 to 1901) was […]

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    […] baiting was an art form for managers like John McGraw.  In 1906 Tim Murnane wrote in The Boston Globe about the way McGraw, and his players, intimidated […]

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    […] for John McGraw, Floto allowed that the Giants’ manager was “Pretty wise,” but attributed his success to the […]

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    […] Baltimore Sun noted that it had been a tough spring for the Orioles.  Third baseman John McGraw “the brainiest and pluckiest little infielder that ever trod a diamond,” was in an Atlanta […]

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    […] in New York and ended his major league career the following season when he fought with Manager John McGraw, and McGraw’s right-hand man, “Sinister Dick” Kinsella in the lobby of […]

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